Supplementary Material

Annotated Bibliography coming soon.

Additional Information

Chapter 1

An article on the classical origins of the word “epidemic,” in Emerging Infectious Diseases (2006).

Chapter  2

Plague art

An interesting collection of pieces illustrating visual approaches to plague and death is available at the University of Wisconsin – Madison County website.  A few of the images are not properly attributed here, including one that appears to be a detail from Domenico Gargiulo’s The Piazza del Mercatello During the Plague and another that seems to be a detail from a copy of Nicolas Poussin’s The Plague at Ashdod.

Chapter 3

The Airplane Man Episode

A transcript of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s media conference on a traveler with TB, held on 29 May 07

The NY Times’s John Schwartz  and Lawrence Altman wrote a cogent story on the Airplane Man case;  a follow-up  article recapped main events of the case and knowledge released during the first week.

In March ’08, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution asked whether the entire episode was a fund-raising ploy.

Chapter 4

Germs and the Uses of Quarantine

A PBS program on the history of quarantine, Nova’s “The Most Dangerous Woman in America.”

Howard Markel’s Quarantine! is a superb study of quarantine and anti-immigration sentiments in the context of two NYC outbreaks in 1892.

Chapter 5

Epidemics and visual art.

The National Library of Medicine’s “Visual Health” display includes a collection of public-health posters on infectious diseases.

Chapter 6

AIDS, Society, and History

The Kaiser Family Foundation’s timeline of the epidemic tries to show links between the advance of viral infection and social effects.

Another AIDS timeline, with a more international and organizational slant, is presented by the international charitable organization AVERT.

The International AIDS Society‘s website is comprehensive.

ACT-UP/NY’s history of ACT-UP

AIDS and Art

A gallery of images from the art collective Gran Fury.

The NY Public Library’s collection of the work of Gran Fury is extensive.

Chapter 7

The rhetoric of “preparedness”

Emerging Infectious Diseases is an online professional journal published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that features scientific articles on potential public health problems.

Information on emerging-infections programs at the CDC.

An entire website is devoted to the U.S. government’s efforts to prepare for the pandemic of flu that supposedly is coming sometime soon.

My 2009 Washington Post piece on panic inspired by the “preparedness” campaign and the longer “Preparedness as Panic” (pdf) essay from which it was drawn.  The piece tries to draw a distinction between sound public-health preparation and a “preparedness” campaign designed to alarm the public.

A cogent, broad-minded approach to preparation for epidemics that largely bypasses the heated rhetoric is the One World, One Health initiative.

The furor over childhood obesity

The American Public Health Association’s report on “The Hidden Epidemic“.

The U.S. National Institute on Child Health and Human Development’s programs aimed at improving the behavior of American children in the name of health include the “”Media-Smart Youth” and “We Can” campaigns are aimed at combating the “epidemic” of childhood obesity.

The Washington Post ran a week-long series of articles on childhood obesity in 2008.

Vaccines and autism

At its autism website, the CDC compiles evidence for the absence of association between childhood immunization and the occurrence of autism. The CDC’s response can only rebut the claim that vaccines cause autism by showing that no evidence has yet been found to support the alleged association.  Instead of asserting that autism is not epidemic, the CDC inadvertently supports the concept that there might be a definable cause for the illusory epidemic of autism.

In “Deadly Immunity” in a 2005 Rolling Stone article, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. alleged a cover-up of the association between immunization and autism.